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Thu, 13 Aug 2020
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Flood situation worsens in Bihar, India with 6.6 million currently affected

An aerial view of the flood-affected Darbhanga district of Bihar on Wednesday.

An aerial view of the flood-affected Darbhanga district of Bihar on Wednesday.
Overflowing rivers inundate new areas in the State; CM makes aerial survey

The flood situation in Bihar deteriorated on Wednesday as waters from overflowing rivers originating in Nepal inundated fresh areas and the number of affected people rose to 66.60 lakh across 16 districts, a government bulletin said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made an aerial survey of the affected areas of north Bihar and visited a village in Darbhanga district, which has been hit by the calamity.

Cloud Lightning

Two men killed by lightning strike while cutting tree limbs in Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington police say two men were killed after they were struck by lightning while cutting tree limbs Wednesday morning.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, the incident happened in the 6200 block of North Bradley Overlook in the Bradley Creek area around 11:50 a.m.

The homeowner, 77-year-old Ralph Thomas Wallace, and his friend, 42-year-old Moo Saw Kefauver, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

A nearby house also suffered damage from the strike, including a small attic fire, but no one was injured.


Three cranes collapse at India's biggest container port near Mumbai

Cranes collapse in Mumbai

Storms have brought floods and mudslides to Mumbai as well as causing the collapse of three cranes at JNPT.
Three cranes collapsed at India's largest container port on the outskirts of Mumbai due to strong winds on Wednesday, police and port officials said.

Heavy rainfall has hit India's west coast since Monday night, flooding parts of the financial capital. Wind speeds picked up on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

No one was injured when the cranes collapsed at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said in a Tweet.

The port is still assessing the impact of the collapse on the operations, its chairman, Sanjay Sethi, told Reuters.


Comment: Less than a week ago a giant crane collapsed at another Indian shipyard killing at least 11 people.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall batters Mumbai, India - nearly 8 inches in 4 hours, flooding stops trains

train flood
Heavy rain overnight and this morning battered several parts of Mumbai, leading to flooding and travel chaos.

This is the heaviest spell of rain in the financial capital since 2005, Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray told NDTV.

"198 mm rain in four hours is a huge amount of rain. Any city in the world will collapse with such rain," Mr Thackeray said. The local trains, a lifeline for Mumbai's 20 million residents, have been stopped in the city and all offices, except emergency services are closed.

Mumbai and a few neighbouring district are on red alert for "extremely heavy rainfall" today and tomorrow. Apart from Mumbai, the alert has been issued for Thane, Pune, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. The rain and its severe impact come at a time Mumbai is struggling with coronavirus cases.


Dead humpback whale washes up on Aptos beach, California

Dead humpback whale on Platforms beach in Aptos.

Dead humpback whale on Platforms beach in Aptos.
A dead humpback whale roughly 36 feet long drifted Thursday afternoon onto Platforms Beach in Aptos. Gabriel McKenna, public safety superintendent for California State Parks said they don't have a cause of death.

"State Parks is evaluating expedient ways of removing the dead whale from the beach," he said. "We are working in conjunction with Long Marine Lab and NOAA."

State Parks advised the public to stay away from the whale and view from afar to ensure safety.

On Tuesday, the whale remained at the beach. McKenna confirmed that they are monitoring the weather and tides to determine when they can safely tow the whale back out to sea, likely later this week.


5.5 million affected, 145 killed as flood in Bangladesh lingers

Two children swim to fetch fresh water as a woman looks on in a flood-hit area of Lauhajang upazila in Munshiganj on Tuesday.
© Sony Ramany
Two children swim to fetch fresh water as a woman looks on in a flood-hit area of Lauhajang upazila in Munshiganj on Tuesday.
Jamuneswari breaks 7-decade record, Karatoa flows 4-decade high as India opens barrages

Over four lakh people got freshly affected by flood over the Eid holidays as the total number of flood victims crossed 5.5 million until Tuesday, 39 days after the monsoon flood hit in late June, with 145 flood-related deaths so far.

Government disaster responders and flood victims said that the overall flood situation remained largely unchanged except for the rapid deterioration in the flood situation in parts of north as India continued to release huge volumes of water through two barrages built in Uttar Dinajpur.

A Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre report showed that 17 rivers flowed above their danger marks at 27 places as their water levels registered a slow fall over the 24 hours until 9:00am Tuesday.


6.4-magnitude earthquake hits off Vanuatu - USGS

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 jolted 71 km east of Lakatoro, Vanuatu, at 1205 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 174.75 km, was initially determined to be at 16.1118 degrees south latitude and 168.0816 degrees east longitude.

Cloud Lightning

89 killed by lightning during first 6 months of 2020 in Madhya Pradesh, India - more than for entire year prior

The IMD has alerted that due to the environmental changes, the threat of lightning during the current monsoon season has increased in Madhya Pradesh, where 89 people lost their lives due to lightning strikes in the first six months of this year.

This figure of lightning strike victims in the state till June this year is more than what it was during the entire year in 2019, an official said.

"In the current monsoon season, the threat of lightning strikes has increased as compared to last year due to the environmental changes," India Meteorological Department (IMD) senior scientist, Vedprakash Singh Chandel, told PTI on Wednesday.

"Because of this, the wind speed during thunderstorm and hailstorm was found significantly high," he said.

According to the official, in the last six months- from January to June- 89 people were killed in lightning strikes, as compared to 82 in entire 2019.

Snowflake Cold

'A historic event' - Aussie city blanketed in snow for the first time in 40 years

Tasmania snow

Australia's ever-intensifying Antarctic Blast is beginning to deliver. This morning (Aug 5), swathes of Tasmania received their first settling snow for 40 years.

As picked up by Yahoo News Australia, Tasmania's riverside city of Launceston was hammered by snow on Tuesday evening, as the mercury at the airport sank below-zero just after 9pm.

Bureau of Meteorology's Matthew Thomas said the settling snow in Tasmania's north is a weather event not seen for some 40 years.

"It's a very rare event for Tasmania," said Thomas.

"We saw some snow settled in Hobart, with the last two occurrences in 1986 and 2015. [However] the last time we saw snow settle in Launceston was in the early 1970s," he said.

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino described it as "a historic event for Tasmania":

Comment: See also:

Arrow Down

Sudden oak death has reached epidemic proportions on U.S. West Coast

Tree Disease Outbreak
© Hemhem20X6
An outbreak of the tree disease sudden oak death is affecting large forested areas along the U.S. West Coast, including on this hillside in California’s Big Sur.

Nearly half of forest ecosystems around the world face "stand-replacing disturbances" — hazards that threaten to kill all of the trees in a localized region, such as fires, extreme weather, and disease. The spread of nonnative insects and pathogens has also reshaped North American forests, and today, a disease outbreak is sweeping along the U.S. West Coast.

Sudden oak death, caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, has reached epidemic proportions in California and Oregon since it first arrived in the San Francisco Bay area in about 1990. But the regional extent of both the disease and related tree mortality is not clear, hampering forest managers' responses to the epidemic and to other threats, as die-offs can increase fuel loads and fire severity, reduce forest productivity, and convert forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources.

Cobb et al. modeled the infection and mortality rate in forests facing P. ramorum invasions by combining observations from plot networks on the ground, geospatial data, and existing data sets describing tree cover and pathogen distribution. The pathogen can infect the leaves and stems of more than 130 species of trees, shrubs, and ferns, but in the new study, the authors focus on the four most affected tree species: California bay laurel, tanoak, coast live oak, and California black oak.